Balancing Professionalism with Likeability


It’s Friday, it’s sunny and I’m feeling pretty happy that the weekend is here!

I have to admit that I’m a little more tired than usual today due to my marathon catch up session of The Apprentice UK last night, I thought I’d better fit in some missed episodes as the final is fast approaching. Being self-employed I just can’t get enough of the apprentice. Yes some of the people on the show come out with the most ridiculous one liners and others are so clueless that I’m sure they’ve only been put on there to give us all a good laugh but still, under all this bravado, I think there are some hidden business gems that we can all take note of.

One point that stood out to me in one of last night’s episodes is just how important it is to be unprofessional. I know on the surface that statement sounds ludicrous and I’m not saying that professionalism should ever be lost completely in business, it’s important to maintain a level of professionalism at all times. I feel it’s equally important though to let your personality shine through when dealing with others. After almost a decade of watching the apprentice, it’s surprising just how often people get fired simply because they don’t have any charisma or personality. Charisma is a tough thing to develop, most people would admit that you either have charisma or you don’t, one thing we all have though is our own personality, something that people can warm to.

People Buy From People

When I first started working in financial services my boss at the time gave me a great piece of advice that has served me well for many years, what was it? His motto was that ‘people buy from people’. Quite often people don’t choose to do business with you because you can offer them a better deal – if you’re an independent broker you’ll probably have access to the same deals as a rival independent broker – most of the time people choose to do business with you because they like you. A person can only grow to like you and trust you if you open up and show them that you have a likeable and trustworthy personality. Remaining professional is all well and good but if you don’t balance professionalism with likability then there’s a fair chance that you might struggle as an entrepreneur, especially when it comes to sales. There are of course exceptions to the rule, some people operate in business sectors that are less interactive but more often than not likability plays a huge part in the early and continued success of a business.

Not Just Face to Face

Likeability is also important even if you’re not dealing with people face to face. I can’t recall the amount of times I’ve dealt with a person by email and have grown to dislike them due to their harsh tone or disrespectful manner. It’s amazing how those traits shine through in an email and it does sometimes make me not want to deal with that person or if I do deal with them, I’m less inclined to go above and beyond for them.

Of course we all need to remain professional in business but if people don’t like us, then we might miss out on a few deals that a genuine smile or laugh could have secured.

Have you ever refused to do business with someone because you didn’t like them? Or have you chosen to deal with someone because you did?

On a different note, here are some great posts from other bloggers for you to enjoy!

The Frugal Farmer ~ What You Can Expect if You Choose to Go on a Get out of Debt Journey

3 Thrifty Guys ~ Scams and Schemes to Be Aware Of and How to Avoid Falling Prey to Others

Making Sense of Cents ~ My Student Loans are GONE

Mom and Dad Money ~ Stop Focusing on the Negatives. Start Enjoying Life

Canadian Budget Binder ~ The Grocery Game Challenge July 8-14, 2013 #2- Out of stock, get a rain check

Shameless plug for our sister blog Money Rebound ~ Round the World Plane Tickets: Yay or Nay?

Reach Financial Independence ~ Early retirement in the US vs abroad

6 Responses to Balancing Professionalism with Likeability

  1. Hey, Adam, thanks for the mention. 🙂 You are SO right on this. I spent years in the mortgage sales industry as the sales assistant of a very successful mortgage rep. He kicked butt because a) people loved him, he is a very charismatic guy, and b) he had an assistant who is super service-oriented and friendly. :-). Seriously, though, we worked with all kinds of people in all kinds of businesses when we did mortgages, and we were always happy to keep the friendly ones in mind when we needed business in their area of expertise too. Likeability rules!

    • I couldn’t agree more Laurie. I was in a mortgage brokerage and the most successful advisors were always those who were able to build up a good rapport with their clients, they also got a lot of repeat business for the same reason. Likeability most definitely rules!

  2. Oh, I agree that people buy from people and yes I have not bought from someone with a less than nice attitude. Sometimes people will pay more money to buy from you just because they trust you. The hard part is getting past the “sales” voice in some people. If people feel it’s all a “sales pitch” even if you are nice, you might as well toss that out the window, I don’t buy it. Happy weekend mate

  3. I think this is true for all walks of life, not just sales. People like being around others that are friendly and likeable!

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